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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Charleston man pleads guilty to federal gun crime

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Charleston man pleaded guilty today to a federal gun charge, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Leon Mitchell, III, 24, entered his guilty plea to possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

In the early morning hours of March 8, 2016, a Charleston Police Department officer was patrolling in the area of Park Avenue and Simms Street in Charleston when he encountered Mitchell. The officer asked Mitchell if he had any weapons, and he replied that he did not. Shortly after this conversation, an unidentified woman ran screaming behind the officer. As the officer turned away to check on the sudden commotion, he heard the sound of metal hitting the ground. The officer looked back to the area where Mitchell was standing and saw what was later identified as a Sig Sauer, Model P220, .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun with the serial number scratched off. When the officer asked Mitchell what was lying on the ground, Mitchell told the officer it was his gun. In a search of Mitchell incident to arrest, the officer recovered approximately eight grams of marijuana and half a gram of heroin.

Mitchell faces up to five years in federal prison when he is sentenced on December 6, 2017.

The investigation was conducted by the Charleston Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Clint Carte is responsible for the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in the United States by networking with existing local programs targeting gun crime.

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated September 13, 2017